The Jena Institute of Pathology has been serving as a consultation and reference center for soft tissue tumors in Germany since 1978. The present study provides an overview of the clinicopathological data from a two-year period and an update on diagnostics and research. Retrospectively, 7043 cases sent to the institute in the years 2006 and 2007 were analyzed. The majority of cases (>77.7%) were soft tissue tumors, of which 49% were categorized as malignant, 11.4% as intermediate, 35% as benign and 4.6% as tumors of uncertain biological potential. Neoplasms with fibroblastic differentiation were the most frequent. The mean age of patients with a sarcoma was 63 years. The molecular pathological analysis of soft tissue tumors has attained a major role in diagnosis. This is further advanced at the Jena institute in the context of a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) project for molecular sarcoma diagnosis with the aim of developing and validating DNA probes for in situ hybridization detection of translocations and their associated chromosomal breaks on the one hand, and DNA chips for the detection of fusion transcripts on the other. Research projects relate to the analysis of specific biomarkers in large tumor collectives and the pathomechanisms in several sarcoma entities.
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